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Italian Sausage Minestrone

This no-fuss minestrone is perfect family fare on chilly days. Feeling daring? Substitute a can of butter beans or pinto beans for one of the cans of cannellini beans. I serve it with warm with crusty French bread for dipping into the broth.—Elizabeth Renteria, Vancouver, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + freezing Cook: 1-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    13 servings (3-1/4 quarts)


  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
  • Shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  • In the same pan, saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, tomato paste and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, adding pasta during the last 6-8 minutes. Cook, uncovered, until pasta is tender.
  • Freeze option: Before adding pasta, cool soup. Freeze soup and cheese separately in freezer containers for up to 3 months. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with cheese.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 280 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 828mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 12g protein.

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  • Peggy
    Jan 18, 2021

    Liked all the proportions of ingredients. Did not change anything. Fresh Italian sausage from local Italian butcher shop. Very little fat, had to add EVOO to saute vegs. Thanks for the reminder to not cook pasta in all of the big batch, if putting some in freezer. I usual forget and cook it all, then quite mushy when thawed. This was the perfect time for me to drop in a rind of parmesan that is always tucked into the corner of my cheese drawer. Will make again.

  • ellimaye1
    Sep 21, 2019

    Wow, this was yummy! I didn't drain the fat as there wasn't a lot and just used that to saute the veggies. I also used 8 cups broth as someone suggested, and it filled my 6 qt pot close to full. I agree about the cannellini beans and think I'll try Great Northern beans next time.

  • JMartinelli13
    Jan 10, 2018

    I used hot turkey sausage, and there was very little fat to drain. You can't get much better than the smell of carrots, celery, onions and garlic softening in oil. This comes together pretty quickly. If you are serving the entire batch right away, it's easy to add the pasta, bring everything back up to a boil and cook it through. For single servings, watch that the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the vessel and burn. Thank you Elizabeth R for the wonderful recipe!

  • Momof3.Lex
    Aug 4, 2017

    I have made this MANY times for many people and have never had a person who didn't love it!! My absolute FAVORITE recipe ever!

  • pajamaangel
    Jul 14, 2017

    This recipe is delicious. I had to use gluten free elbows instead of the ditalini, but it was still quite good. It makes a ton so you may have to scale back or freeze some.

  • Janice
    Feb 12, 2017

    I made this recipe today and it is amazing! Probably the best soup I have ever made, and I've made many. Makes a good sized pot so lots to go around. The combination of flavors from the ingredients are infused enhancing the flavor. This is a keeper that I'll make time and time again!

  • momof2inpa
    Jan 14, 2017

    A new family favorite. Absolutely delicious.

  • KC-from-Dunnellon
    Aug 2, 2016

    Love this quick soup. I also sauted the tomato paste with the garlic before adding the liquids. I used beef broth as well as chicken base. For the seasoning I used dried basil and thyme. Super delicious with the sausage.

  • Sweetandsimple
    Jan 15, 2015

    I have been making this soup on a regular basis ever since I found it in the magazine . It's very good.

  • kristina129
    Apr 19, 2013

    No comment left